England’s not the only place to have had a change of government recently. Take a look at our orchard.


The odd bird is our new duck (whose name escapes me for the moment – something he’ll never do, as he’s absolutely huge).

He arrived a few weeks ago, in exchange for some sewing work, to the surprise, shock and bewilderment of the ruling cockerel. For the first few days, he sat in a corner. The cockerel strutted around, showing who was boss, and the duck didn’t debate the fact.

But slowly the balance of power shifted.

And now, perhaps because he’s bigger, or because he can hiss, the duck is first to the food. The chickens don’t fight it. They just accept it and wait until they can have their turn. An uneasy coalition has been established. The duck sleeps in the lower house at night, and some chickens lay there during the day. Power, it seems, can be shared between birds of different flocks.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the duck’s wife arrives in a few weeks.

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